June 29, 2017
Nothing will dry out a soggy Yellowstone tent quicker than the Utah sun in the morning time. Lynne and I unpacked the garbage bags full of wet rain fly, tent, ground cloth, towels, etc. and spread them out on the hedges out back near the parking lot. We had breakfast, and then packed up to go. Thankfully things dried really fast. We hit the road around 10, taking the main drag through Vernal after a quick stop at Sonic for some tater tots and cherry limeaides. Vernal is about 15 minutes from Dinosaur National Monument, so it’s been the tradition for local businesses to have awesome Dinosaur effigies in front of their establishments. Some are truly impressive; pink-painted plaster and concrete, metal, wood… while others are paintings on glass, or wooden signs propped up on old gas station pumps. We lost count after the first dozen or so.
Dinosaur National Park was fun, and has a fascinating array of fossils. Apparently the dinosaurs died in a riverbed, were fossilized over several million years, and were unearthed around 100 years ago in this spot. The kids worked on Jr. Ranger packets and we looked around the visitor center before taking the quick shuttle to the enclosed dig site. Along one wall is an array of hundreds of dinosaur bones, inside a fancy modern glass enclosure. We poked around the exhibits for a bit, the kids got sworn in as Junior Rangers in front of the recently discovered Aptosaurus.
We had a nice lunch under a shelter, then headed south to Colorado. We took small roads and twisted through several small river valleys, and got more snacks at Rifle, Colorado, then took a left and headed through the gorgeous Glenwood Canyon. If you ever get the chance, drive this stretch of I-70, it’s an engineering marvel, and the views are spectacular.
We made it to Eagle, said hello to Lynne’s parents, sisters Charlotte and Laura, and Charlotte’s daughter Mariah, then settled in for the night, talking and catching up on things.
Vernal, Utah to Eagle, Colorado
June 29, 2017